August 19, 2011 in POLITRICKS
In the days after Iowa, Ron Paul’s name was inexplicably left out of the political discussion, despite a very strong showing in the most highly talked about political event yet, growing support in national polls, and solid campaign financing. Paul claims he is being ignored. The Pew Research Center has proved it.
Last week, Ames, Iowa, became the “political epicenter of the world” as it hosted its long awaited Republican Presidential Candidate straw poll. The event was billed as the kick off of the 2012 presidential election season, and the first true test of a candidate’s political support.
As a result of the Ames Straw Poll, the political narrative in the media has shifted, driven by an eagerness to proclaim a new “top tier” in the presidential race. It’s down to three, “expert” observers almost unanimously agreed – Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In story after story, segment after segment, casual political observers and nightly news TV-watchers were told by the big, and still largely influential, media machine that these were the only names Republican voters had to choose from, or really even needed to know.
With nearly 6 months left until the primaries, most of the mainstream media seemed ready and willing to confidently predict their outcome. It’s going to be one these three, Big Media said, and that’s it. While such practice has become quite common within media and politics, there was just one problem with their analysis. They forgot all about Ron Paul.
In actuality, when it was all said and done in Ames, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul finished in a statistical tie for first – earning 4823 (28.55 %) and 4671 (27.65 %) votes, respectively. Tim Pawlenty, who has since dropped out of the race, finished third with 2293 (13.6 %). Mitt Romney, who chose not to campaign much in Iowa received only 567 votes – while Rick Perry, who had just announced his candidacy in South Carolina on the same day as the straw poll, received 718 write-ins.
Ironically, in the last few days, the story that has begun to develop in the media is how much Ron Paul is ignored by the media. Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, deserves much of the credit for igniting the spark that led others to realize Paul is indeed receiving the cold shoulder. On Monday’s program, Stewart criticized those in the media who appear to almost deliberately avoid mentioning Paul’s name. “How did libertarian Ron Paul become the 13th floor of a hotel,” he questioned – suggesting Paul is consciously being given the silent treatment.
Ron Paul himself believes he is being ignored because he “frightens the media for challenging the status quo and the establishment”. Whatever the reason, the fact he is being overlooked is undeniable. Through their statistical analysis, the Pew Center has discovered he receives nearly the least coverage of any other candidate – ahead of only Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. For a candidate who practically tied in the Iowa Straw Poll, it is quite unusual – downright suspicious even – that his name receive such a little mention within Big Media. It leads one to wonder if Ron Paul is right – maybe a candidate of “consistent principled integrity” as Jon Stewart said, who challenges the establishment, is just too scary to mention.